New Perfume


I can feel the pinch
of the stiletto

patent leather black
shining, bouncing the light

from streetlamps into shapes—
each step melting. Sultry.

Cigarette smoke sexy,
nobody minds the plume.

The tapping of heels
on dark, squared sidewalks—

Rome at midnight.
It feels like rolling

a peppermint on my tongue,
the soothing of sandpaper.

Cool now—painted lips closed, body
heat contained.

Another man just whistled.
Clanking down the street,

I know how my ass moves.
Like amaro, the taste

of licorice. This new
voice, silent, says more

than a raspy “Fuck off.”
Eyes forward, because shit

on the street isn’t even
a thing—skirt swish,

the layers, linen and flowing.
A bra that fits

and a shirt that shows it.
I clutch a designer bag,

turn into the café,
Infinitivo, and just know

that this time,
it will all end differently.


Learn more about Elizabeth Agans

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